[NAFEX] Apricots from Afghanistan

Sarah Kehler Ewing skkewing at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 10 14:59:03 EDT 2010

Hi Melissa,
I tried some edible pit apricots back in the late 80's in Creston, B.C.  They are delicious and I also think they taste (and look) a lot like almonds.  The couple that had them told us that its easy to tell the difference between edible and non-edible (cyanide containing) pits: the edible ones are not bitter.
Any Canadians know about any edible pit apricots in their area?  I'm going to query my father-in-law (they live near Creston) to see if he knows anyone who has these trees.  
I would love to get some pits from you (happy to pay) if you have any to spare.


zone 3

Edmonton, AB

--- On Sat, 4/10/10, Melissa Kacalanos <mijwiz at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Melissa Kacalanos <mijwiz at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Apricots from Afghanistan
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Received: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 3:54 PM

I'm following up on a very old topic I started. I bought some dried apricots imported from Afghanistan a while ago, and wondered if the pits would sprout. It turns out, they do. At least, I cold-stratified 4, and 1 sprouted yesterday. Now I'm wondering what to do with this little seedling. Also, does anyone want some pits to grow themselves? These are of interest mainly as novelties I think, for people who want something straight from Afghanistan, and have room for a tree of unpredictable quality. Let me know if you'd like some seeds.

Otherwise, I'll probably just eat the seeds, since they're really delicious.

Oh, and thanks very much for all the great advice on peaches, particularly regarding rootstocks. I'll look into this further.


--- On Fri, 5/8/09, Melissa Kacalanos <mijwiz at yahoo.com>

-----Original Message-----

From: Melissa Kacalanos <mijwiz at yahoo.com>

To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>

Sent: Thu, 7 May 2009 1:44 pm

Subject: [NAFEX] Apricots from Afghanistan

I was grocery shopping the other day, and found some interesting things: organic dried apricots, whole with pits, and organic apricot kernels, both imported from Afghanistan. Forgive me for being surprised that at least part of Afghanistan has been stable for long enough to allow an orchard to exist.

The apricot kernels are really delicious, similar to almonds but more flavorful. The apricots are a strange color, off-white rather than orange. They're very small, very sweet, lacking tartness, and with only a subtle apricot flavor.

I wonder if the kernels inside the dried fruit are edible too. If they're poisonous, will that be obvious, like they'll taste bitter?

I'm also wondering what would happen if I tried to plant the pits from the fruit, or the shelled kernels. They're not roasted, but I don't know if the drying process killed them,
 since I'm sure the importer didn't plan for anyone to plant these things. However, I've been surprised at the things I've grown from packaged food, like tamarind from a block of tamarind pulp, which made a very pretty houseplant, and spices. Just for kicks, what would be the best way to try to sprout these, if possible?



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